29 W 57th Street
In the 1920s, the American Piano Company, maker of the Chickering grand piano, opened a new building amongst its rivals along 57th Street. While small and elegant in stature, the building packed a design punch intended to taunt Piano Row’s other inhabitants. Along the roof line of the new building were huge replicas of the Imperial Cross of Napoleon III’s Legion of Honor, which were awarded to Chickering at the Paris Exposition of 1867. Chickering and Steinway had spent vast sums of money vying for top honors in the 1800s, and an opportunity to gloat, while simultaneously advertising itself to the wealthy residential denizens of 57th Street, proved too hard to resist.
57th Street is still home to top piano makers, and the 29 West 57th building is still a curiosity, (and a piano store). When a neighboring building was demolished, exposing an unattractive shared wall, it was time for a restoration.
The entire building was pressure washed to remove flaking paint. The “party wall”, which had been attached to the original brick with un-reinforced stucco, was removed. To restore the integrity of the brick exterior wall, Structural Skin was applied over wire lath. This created a uniform, waterproof surface. Conpro Point 5 was applied over the existing paint to improve adhesion, in order to prime the surface for a new coating. Conpro Lastic elastomeric coating was used on the entire building. This coating offers protection from carbonation, water and contaminant entry.